Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Buried Alive

i am trapped,
forced to contort my body into a soggy
wooden box with splinters inside
and i’m wearing a pretty dress.
i hear the nails being driven into the wood,
locking me into the present moment.
why is the present not a present?
the last time i checked, presents were pleasant
and this present is a gag gift.
but who’s laughing?
maybe God.
He moves me like a piece on a monopoly board
and just when i thought i was traveling forward,
i got stuck in a place where i’m bored.
i may not be tall, but i’m too big for this game.
my sight travels far to the future
from my own mind frame.
today attempts to have a monopoly over me
but little does this life know that i have property
all over–my dreams cover all sides of me,
and you can see my territory
in the form of beauty, intelligence,
creativity, and presence.
i am not metal, but flesh.
a straight A student who keeps failing this test,
a pawn in life’s game of chess,
pushed to observe from the sidelines
and although it hurts each time i am knocked,
every hit reminds me that i
am still alive.


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